«Seperated by a range of mountains to the rest of Spain, the county Asturias (and also Galicia) in Northern Spain is different in several ways to the Southern parts of Spain: The county looks green, and the music sounds somehow familiar to ears used to listen to Irish or other Celtic music. Asturias and Galicia, both belonging to the Green Spain or Atlantic Spain, are the two countries in Spain with strongest Celtic roots. Fonsu, percussionist of Asturian folk band Llan de Cubel, says about the Celtic connections of Asturias that "obviously historically and culturally there are links with the other countries of the Atlantic Sea. There were always exchanges with Brittany for example, many fishermen and traders as well; there were exchanges with the British Islands, with Brittany and the Atlantic coast of Europe." Another reason is geographical; "Asturias has a natural border with the rest of Spain. Asturias is a very green country with lots of mountains, and the natural border is a range of mountains that seperates Asturias totally from the rest, it's a kind of wall, and Asturias was isolated with these mountains. So the natural escape, the natural exit was the sea. You couldn't cross the mountains because they are very high, and there weren't good roads or whatever. There was a natural relationship."Today, the Asturian-Celtic connection is strong again, Llan de Cubel have close relationships to the people of Scotland and Ireland. They do exchanges: Scottish and Irish bands come to play in Asturias, and Llan de Cubel go to play there. Some Scottish and Irish bands play also Asturian tunes, and Asturians play Irish and Scottish tunes in sessions.
Despite this strong relationship, Fonsu emphasizes that the music of each place is different. […] Llan de Cubel's music is also very much its own. Describes Fonsu, "the music we are playing in Llan de Cubel is traditional Asturian music, mainly based in the repertoire for the Asturian pipes. We take most of our repertoire from pipe tunes for the Asturian pipes, the gaita." Together with the gaita, Llan de Cubel have percussion/keyboards, fiddle, flute, bouzouki, guitars and (Spanish) vocals creating a fine sound of Asturian traditions. […] If you come to Asturias, go to the cider bars, the sidrerias. Says Fonsu, "cider is the national drink of Asturias, for me it is the best Cider in the world. And if you go to the Cider bars, maybe you can find there a singer or a piper or..." Or find out about the very unusual way of drinking Asturian cider (especially how the sidra gets into the glass) – but that's another story.» (Michael Moll, Folkworld)
Official site: Llan de Cubel
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